When they hear ‘detox’ many people immediately think ‘fasting’ or some other extreme form of detoxification. But detoxing your body can be far simpler. Essentially it means deeply cleansing your body by replacing toxins in your diet and life with healthier alternatives. In fact, an extreme detox can even be dangerous. It can be too much because it places strain on already overworked elimination organs. Unless you are fairly healthy before you start an extreme fast, a gentle detox is much kinder to your body.
Remember, the body is designed to detox naturally. Most people don’t need extreme fasts, flushes or tonics. Most are usually better without them provided they make gentle detox a regular part of their life.
Many detox programs and diets do cleanse your body because they’re based on a diet of wholesome and balanced vegan foods. And you may feel great afterwards. Anytime you cut back junk food, foods from animal sources and alcohol your body will benefit, whether a ‘detox’ or not.
Therefore you’re likely to feel great after finishing any detox program or diet.
However, unless your diet, home and lifestyle is reasonably healthy to start you’ll have a considerable toxic build-up in your body. As your body starts to detox these toxins are eliminated by your cells. The cells release them into your bloodstream where they are carried through your body.
During an intense detox this release happens suddenly and intensely and can result in many unpleasant symptoms.
One other problem with an intense detox is that it’s very easy to slip back into bad habits. When you return to your old ways you once again quickly develop a toxic build-up and inflammation.
Common Side-Effects Of A Detox
- Irritability, moodiness
- Aches and pains
- Nausea, vomiting
- Blocked sinuses
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Stomach aches, gas
- Bad breath
- Flu-like symptoms
While they are simply an indication that your body is cleansing and healing they can be quite unpleasant. And the more toxic you are the more intense these symptoms.
Beginning the detox gradually helps reduce the severity of the symptoms. However, the key to a detox with long-lasting effects that’s also easier on your body is to detox daily.
When you detox your body gradually the toxins leave your cells more slowly. Your system is not overwhelmed by a flood of them altogether. So you won’t experience the wide-ranging side effects.
Daily Detox Gives Long-Lasting Benefit
The real benefit of a gentle detox is the long-lasting impact.
Doing a quick detox is a bit like making New Year resolutions. You start off the year by wiping the slate clean and you’re strongly motivated to make big changes. But pretty soon, sometimes even before February, you’ve slipped back into your old bad habits again.
In the case of detox this means your body is again very quickly full of toxic substances, along with widespread inflammation. This is a recipe that leads to chronic illness.
The most gentle and longest-lasting form of detox is the one you do every day.
A gentle detox can be maintained for longer than an extreme one. In fact it can be a permanent change. And Spring is the perfect time to begin.
Gentle detoxification is sustainable and long-lasting. This is because you change your whole life a little at a time. Once you have a few healthy successes in your life it’s easy to create more. The new changes are built on strong foundations and so you can maintain them more easily. Plus your body doesn’t have to recover from a sudden onslaught of toxic elimination. Toxins are eliminated gradually and in levels that don’t lead to full-blown side-effects.
Signs You Need To Detox
Symptoms you have toxic overload
- Digestive problems
- Aching joints
- Hormone imbalance
- Skin problems
- Memory loss
- Poor sleep
- Low libido
- Poor blood sugar regulation
- High blood pressure
- Accelerated aging
- Chronic illness – including Alzheimer,s, Parkinson’s, cancer
Assess Your Diet For Toxic Overload
Assess your diet – truthfully. Keep a food diary for a few weeks to help get clear. Don’t forget to include beverages.
Then look for eating patterns and poor food choices. Recognising your patterns can help you create an action plan.
With the whole picture you can assess where your problems are coming from. The problems may be glaringly obvious. You may have an addiction to chocolate for instance. But it may also simply be a combination of many small problems. Too many inflammatory foods across your whole diet cause toxic overload.
Ask yourself these questions.
- Does your diet include too much sweet food or simple carbs?
- How often do you drink alcohol? And how much?
- What about coffee? Or soda?
- Are there too many food additives?
- How much processed or fast foods are there?
- Do you avoid GMO’s?
Be honest about what needs to change. You can’t change everything at once. But you need to clear about what has to go. And you need to make a strong commitment to yourself about that change. Make sure it’s not too big a change for you to stick to.
Start small. If coffee is an issue start by reducing the number you drink by one a day. You can reduce it further once you’re comfortable with one less. Replace it with water, green tea, or other herbal tea.
Similarly replace other foods with healthy alternatives. If you can’t give it up, replace some of it.
And remember, it’s vital to increase your water intake as it helps flush the toxins out of your body.
3 Simple Ways To Detox Gently
Add these detoxifying foods to your diet
- Vegetables: Green vegetables are rich in chlorophyll which is very cleansing. Plus they’re loaded with nutrients
- Citrus: Lemons are particularly powerful for flushing out toxins
- Garlic: Garlic is a powerful cleanser. Plus it helps the liver produce elimination enzymes.
Oxygen is essential for moving nutrients around your body so you can absorb them into the cells. It also stimulates the lymphatic system which is part of the body’s elimination system. However, most breathe poorly and so don’t reap the true benefit. Learn how to breathe well.
Exercise helps you detox by circulating blood to deliver nutrients, and lymph fluid to remove toxins. As you sweat toxins are released through the skin helping flush your body. Make sure to wash them off the body afterwards
Benefits Of Gentle Detox
Initally the cleanse affects the liver and stomach as these are the organs most affected by toxic build-up. Bloating and gas diminish. You may feel lighter and more energetic. Skin clears and glows. Sleep improves, and so does your focus so you concentrate better.
Toxic substances go hand-in-hand with free radicals which cause inflammation. So as you detox your immune system bounces back as the inflammation decreases.
Don’t try and change everything at once. If it’s easy to release, go ahead. But if you feel some reluctance do it gradually. Reduce a little at a time and cut the problem food back over a few weeks. Even though this may seem slow you’ll stick to it for the long-term. You may not see dramatic effects immediately, but every day you’ll feel a little lighter, healthier and more energetic. After a month you’ll be amazed at how fabulous you feel.
Once you have the food detox established it’s time to detox your lifestyle. Stress, sleep, exercise, and your home all need a cleanse to truly improve your health and maintain it.
Do you move much, or are you fairly sedentary?
How about stress? Is your life stressful? What do you do to reduce it?
What’s your sleep like? Poor sleep can be a major contributor to inflammation as well as weight gain.
Do you smoke?
What toxins are in your skin care, cosmetics and personal products?
If you’re ramping up your exercise program for Spring it’s even more important you also detox. Your body stores toxins in fat cells. As fat cells break down the toxins are released. But they’re not necessarily flushed out of your body properly. You need the gentle detox practices to eliminate them thoroughly, otherwise they cause side-effects.
As you begin to substitute healthier alternatives for toxic foods and practices you body responds very quickly. You quickly begin to reap the rewards and experience a greater sense of wellbeing as your body cleanses and toxin levels decrease
By detoxing daily instead of in one huge push your
new practices are sustainable, and
your body and mind will thank you for it.
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation with your health care provider. Do not use this article to diagnose a health condition. Speak to your doctor if you think your condition may be serious or before discontinuing any prescribed medication. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.